The Alliance

Claiming Our History                                                                                                                                                Claiming Our Future


                                   Welcome to The Alliance!                                                       


Happy New Years everybody! What a great holiday season and record-setting Greens Sale! It seems like many things are coming together for a terrific Spring and finish to the Alliance year! The Allocations Committee is gearing up to make awards to community non-profits from our earnings. It's always a busy time for us. If you're not acquainted with The Alliance, you're  invited to come to our next meeting or call our Membership Chair Petie Padden, 503-235-0892; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Our Leadership Team (see later listing) has been at work providing special programs for this year. Youll want to be certain to attend (dont forget your reservations). The Alliance offers members both fellowship and the opportunity to serve. Our traditions are rooted in the service work of women in the early church and continues today with involvement in memorials and fund raising for important projects at First Unitarian. We find and fund the unmet needs. We lead by living our values forward.

Programs offer understanding of current affairs both civic and cultural, and meetings are where we connectBarbJan with each other. Each year, we conduct our holiday greens sale, a traditional fundraiser that includes the sale of homemade baked goods, treasures and wreaths. All of our activities require member volunteers to step forward. Over half the membership participated in last years’ greens sale to make it the best ever. We grow close as a community as we work side by side to help attain our goals that support the church and the greater public good.

We are open to all who wish to carry our work forward. What a great time for you to be involved!  Join our commitment to service now.

Barbara Morrison and Jan Wolf


In these website pages you will find quick snapshot of what the Alliance is about.
Come to one of our dynamic luncheon programs and see for yourself!  Gatherings resume September

Alliance Calendar  2016 - 2017

We meet for luncheon and an interesting program each month September thru May on the first Wednesday in our Buchan Room. Lunch starts at 11:30 am and the program at 12:30 pm.

Make reservations by emailing
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  or by calling Elsa Porter, 503-796-6890.


"Even we didn't know it would be THAT good!" mused 2015 VP Programs, Veronica Williams, talking about the surprise WOW program presented by the Portland Opera. That's the point to remember about Alliance programs .... even if you aren't sure you're going to like it, it is a real good bet that it will exceed your expectations. The lesson: make your reservations regularly, protect the time on your calendar, and get ready to be pleasantly surprised!

As we reflect on what interesting, informative and educational programs our Programs Committee brought to us this year (see our History of Service page) make a mental note to make your reservations for next year's programs as they are announced. They're always 11:30 am on the first Wednesday of the month.


March 1st  --  
Citizen Oversight of PDX Police

April 5 -           Deborah Kafoury (Mult. Co. issues)

May10 - New Date    Artful End of Year (surprise!) and tentative date for dedication of new  Pat Stipe Program Production Center  (See below)


Gift Upgrades Alliance Program Production Center

Alliance program planners have exciting news for future speakers and program presenters! A memorial gift will fund the Pittock2complete refurbishment/renovation of Alliance program facilities in Eliot Chapel.  Gone will be the sound glitches and limits on image/video projection. Added will be new sound systems, multiple and flexible camera pickups and new streaming capability. All will be augmented by much, much stronger physical security. To be named the Pat Stipe Production Center, as approved by the Board, the new technology will put Eliot Chapel on a par with capabilities recently upgraded in the Sanctuary.  (Mrs. Piittock visited The Alliance at right)

The gift honors Mrs. Pat Stipe, a long time church member and leader of The Alliance who was active in the Greens Sale, a music enthusiast, and known for her bright and welcoming smile. The gift comes from her son, Paul, a resident of Virginia, and will display a plaque noting Mrs. Stipe’s many contributions over many years. Reflecting the increasing financial success enjoyed by The Alliance, the group bears part of the burden of bringing the project in on budget. For costs above $9000, the Alliance will pay half the amount.

PeggyS“I just can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it will be to have a capable, reliable tech center to support our speakers and performance groups!,” exclaimed Peggy Snyder, VP Programs . (see left)  She and Co-VP, Eric Terrell, are already working on ideas for how to appeal to even more exciting and interesting public officials, entertainers, academics and religious scholars.

The project will harvest, refurbish and refinish the production desk used in the sanctuary before recent upgrades there, and add cabinetry, cameras, video streaming. A whole new layer of physical security will accompany the new equipment. The church has committed to upgrade staff and training to make full productive use of this remarkable investment. Without more snow or distracting emergency repairs, the building staff plans to complete this work before St. Patrick’s Day.

Elsa Porter recalls Pat as someone you’d want to keep in memory. “Pat Stipe was President of the Alliance when I joined as a newcomer to Portland in 1996 – 20 years ago.  She welcomed me graciously and drew me immediately into the “sisterhood” of Alliance lunch preparers and servers.  That was the way we got to know one another initially—and still is.”  Pat was also the guiding force behind the annual Greens Sale, encouraging us to think early and often about what we might do all year, as she did,  to support our fund raising efforts.  She collected stuffed animals from Goodwill and other thrift stores and had them cleaned and spruced up with new ribbons for the Christmas sale.  She was also an inveterate note writer—like Sylvia Gates. I remember Pat and those days, always there, quietly doing whatever needed to be done. No effort that one made for the Church or the Alliance went unacknowledged. There was always her personal thank you note. She was “a pillar of the church.”

IMG 4283Another Modern Day Record! Greens Sale 2016 Tops Last Year!
Figures for 2016 Sale are in! -- Expansion of gifting possible.
A special selection of hand made gifts by Alliance members and friends again highlighted this year's Greens Sale, a staple of the holidays at First Unitarian since 1899! It featured hand sewn and knitted clothing, decorations, holiday hangings, table runners and crafts of all varieties! A special thanks to all who contribute this year, says Greens Sale Chair, Liz Scully. "That's the Alliance spirit of service." she says, "and I want to extend my personal thanks and holiday wishes to everyone joins in this tradition of making the holidays great!"

 "We're looking forward to another year of great volunteer participation", she said. Look for Alliance greens decorating the church for the Christmas season.

Greens Sale net this year was another modern day record, nearly $7300. This income is the Alliance's principal fund raiser and annually provides the means to support local non-profits that focus on women, children and the homeless plus various gifts to address unmet needs in First Unitarian. Alliance members wishing to nominate an agency for funding may download the application form from our unmet needs page. Complete the form and return to Mary Post by January 15th. For details on the awards click here and scroll down to the middle of the page.

Unique Christmas gifts, along with holiday baked goods and boutique items like jewelry, handbags and decorative floral arrangements,  go quickly once the sale begins.

Gingerbread Steals the Show! ..... Again!

BGGinger2016Tiny gingerbread cookies entice shoppers to look for crafts, baked goods and holiday decorations.  Master gingerbread architect, Barbara Morrison has crafted a homey country store for her latest confectionery construction.

Like previous years, a donation lottery provided  chances for customers to win the house -- The Walden General Store.  In a totally objective and impartial drawing, the winner was Liz Scully, this year's Greens Sale chair and a well known supporter of our entire fund raising program.

Congratulations, Liz!

Leaders Working on New Activities


Our elected/appointed Leadership Team is at work on our program year. .  The Leadership Team consists of:

Barbara Morrison,  503-256-6767, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Co-President
Jan Wolf, (503) 297-2441, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Co-President
Ken Wheeler, 360-314-2480, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Treasurer
Albert Starr, 503-227-0406. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Secretary
Eric Terrell, 971-409-0540, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , VP Programs
Peggy Snyder,  503-522-8408, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , VP Programs
Sharon Dawson, 503-327-4152, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Co-Luncheon
Evie Zaic,503-635-3226-, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Co-Luncheon
Petie Padden, 503-235-0892, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Membership
Liz Scully,  617-721-9403, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Past Co-President, Greens Sale & Publicity

Leadership Team meets the third Tuesday of each month at 1:00 pm during the church year in the Channing Room. All are welcome.

Our History is Rooted in The Ladies Sewing Society

ladies sewing society

Core Values, Mission reclaimed in Visioning Process

The Alliance claimed both its long and distinguished history of service it exciting future as a vital component of First Unitarian during a mission/visioning process in the Spring of 2013. Its Core Values are:

Honoring and continuing The Alliance history of providing visionary and meaningful service and contributions to First Unitarian Church and the broader community.

*  Fostering a welcoming, strong, diverse and joyful fellowship that supports and advocates for the full range of our membership.

*  Fostering life-long learning and spiritual growth.

*  Ensuring the continuity of The Alliance by encouraging full membership participation.

This is what we do, Our Mission is:

The Alliance of First Unitarian Church, begun in 1865, and open to all in our faith community, provides regular opportunities for fellowship, life-long learning and spiritual growth for its members as well as service to the church and larger fellowship.

This is where we are going, Our Vision is:

The Alliance seeks to be an active, visible part of First Unitarian Church that gathers in community and fellowship to promote and celebrate its history and the principles of Unitarian Universalism, engage in service to the church and the wider community, address unmet needs, care for one another and grow in mind and spirit.

Vision and Service --

From its founding to the current day, a core expectation of every Alliance member is service. We maintain a wide variety of opportunities for volunteer support of The Alliance and the church and recognize members who provide this support. [link]

We also carry forward a tradition of finding and addressing unmet needs in the congregation. From the original communion service to support funding for capital facilities improvements, our strongest contribution is to find and address the needs to carry a healthy church into the times ahead. [link]The purpose of The Alliance of First Unitarian Church is to strengthen communication and support among members; to nurture spiritual growth; to work for a society in which there is justice and equality for all; and to discover, preserve, and celebrate the history and contributions of Unitarian Universalists. The Alliance strives to be representative in age, gender, race, and ethnicity of the larger church congregation. Tracing its roots back, The Alliance was instrumental in the founding of First Unitarian Church in the 1860s.
Annual membership dues are $20.  Luncheon meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month, Sept.–May, 11:15 a.m.–1:30 p.m. in the Buchan Reception Hall.  Meetings feature a variety of speakers and topics.  Luncheons are catered in September, December and May.  All other months are brown bag. The cost is $12 for catered luncheons, $3 for brown bag lunches. Coffee, tea, fruit, dessert and room set up are provided on brown bag days.
We serve the church community by promoting friendships and working toward common goals. Alliance programs educate and entertain and are open to all. We support our activities through an annual membership fee of $10.  We raise additional funds each year, primarily through our annual Greens Sale in December. These funds are awarded as monetary grants to support church and community, programs which benefit primarily women and children.
JOIN US! New members and visitors lift our spirits and are welcome at any time during the year. Click here.
Alliance leadership can be reached by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
History of The Alliance
Original_Unitarian_ChapelThe Ladies Sewing Society was formed in December 1865 for the express purpose of supporting the establishment of a Unitarian Church in Portland Oregon.  Further purposes were to provide companionship, education and support for the “Unitarian and Other Liberal Christians” in the city. These have continued to be the purposes of the organization, ‘though at times somewhat differently expressed.  Indeed, many current members might be surprised to learn that the financial support of the church has been a major focus of the Alliance for most of the ensuing 150 years.

Read more of the history of The Alliance and its influence on First Unitarian Church.

Our meetings are Held the First Wednesday of each month during the church year.